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Bewitched Chinese Dancing Horses

Often when you hear about supernatural events from a thousand years ago, like animals acting in ways you would not expect, you assume that the story has been made up, or at least embellished. That's what you'd think if someone told you a group of war horses started dancing like a chorus line from a Broadway musical. However, this tale has plenty of contemporary provenance in written records.

It is a WIBT (wish I’d been there) moment from Chinese history. One night in the mid-late eighth century the warriors of the Chinese warlord Ch’Eng-szu (704-778) were preparing a sacrificial feast. Some struck up music to add to the festive atmosphere when suddenly a very strange thing. Dozens of the war horses in the field behind them got into line and began to prance in a synchronized fashion to the tune, banging their hooves in unison. The onlookers were horrified at these bizarre dancing horses and news quickly spread that Ch’Eng-szu’s horse were bewitched.

In this case, there was a perfectly logical explanation, although the great coincidence convinced witnesses that something supernatural had to be involved. The moral of the story is that you don't know what you're getting when you steal other people's possessions. Read about the dancing horses of Hsuan Tsung at Strange History.  -via Strange Company


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